Is my husband infertile? How do you know? 

A couple waits for their bundle of joy from the moment they decide to have a baby. They will be so full of hope that they will want to get pregnant right away. But if conception is getting delayed, then it’s natural for doubts to arise. In today’s modern lifestyle,1 in 7 couples is infertile, which means they haven’t been able to conceive a child even after trying for a year or longer. Society mainly attributes infertility to women, but 30% of infertile cases are associated with male infertility. If the female partners have regular periods and normal ovulation, then it is a good idea to consider whether there is an issue with the husband. Most women find it a sensitive topic to bring up with their husbands. Even men are not forthcoming in discussing this issue, even with doctors. So, in this blog, we will help you identify the symptoms to answer your question, “Is my husband infertile: How to know it?”.

Is my husband infertile? How to know it?

The most obvious indication is the inability to conceive a child. 

  • Medical symptoms: 
      • Congenital disorders
      • Male hormone imbalance
      • Dilated veins around the testicle
      • Blockages in the sperm transportation system.
  • Issues with sexual function: 
    • Difficulty with ejaculation
    • Small volumes of fluid ejaculated
    • Reduced sexual desire
    • Difficulty maintaining an erection, commonly known as erectile dysfunction
  • Swelling or a lump in the testicle area.
  • Pain in the scrotum
  • Abnormal male breast growth medically called gynecomastia
  • The facial or body hair is reduced due to chromosomal or hormonal abnormality
  • There needs to be enough sperm in the semen. If the sperm count is low, i.e. fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen or fewer than 39 million per ejaculate, it is called oligospermia.
  • Azoospermia is another medical condition where there is no sperm in the semen.

When to take your husband to a doctor to see if he is infertile?

Take your husband to a doctor if you have been unable to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or sooner also if you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above and signs. 

Be aware of your husband’s medical history if he had any groin, testicle, penis or scrotum surgery. The age of men is equally important in terms of fertility. So, if he is in his late 40s, get him checked—the later the age, the lower the quality and quantity of the sperm will be. Even if conception happens with a weaker sperm, there is a chance of not being able to carry it to full term.

Why might your husband be infertile?

For successful conception, your husband must produce healthy sperm from puberty and should have at least one testicle functioning correctly. He should produce testosterone and other hormones to trigger and maintain sperm production.

Sperm must move (motility) normally; otherwise, the sperm may not be able to reach or penetrate your partner’s egg.

Your husband might be infertile due to any of the following reasons:

Varicocele: A varicocele is a swelling of the veins and the most common reversible condition. The presence of varicoceles reduces sperm quantity and quality.

Infection: Epididymitis, orchitis, and some sexually transmitted diseases, including gonorrhoea or HIV, interfere with sperm production or sperm health or can cause scarring that blocks the passage of sperm. Most often, sperm can still be retrieved.

Ejaculation issues: Retrograde ejaculation remains silent and is unknown until you are unable to conceive. In this condition, the semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of emerging out of the tip of the penis. Diabetes, spinal injuries, medications, and surgery of the bladder, prostate or urethra can cause retrograde ejaculation.

Antibodies attacking the sperm: Anti-sperm antibodies mistakenly identify sperm as harmful invaders and attempt to eliminate them.

Tumours: Cancers of the male reproductive organs or the reproductive hormone-related glands, such as the pituitary gland, can cause infertility. Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy as part of treating tumours can affect male fertility.

Undescended testicles: During fetal development, one or both of the testicles fail to descend into the sac that usually contains the testicles (scrotum). Decreased fertility is observed in men who have had this condition.

Hormone imbalances: Infertility can result from an abnormality affecting other hormonal systems, including the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands. Low testosterone and other hormonal problems have many possible underlying causes.

Defects in the transport of sperm: Many different tubes carry sperm, and they may be blocked due to various causes, including inadvertent injury from surgery, prior infections, trauma or abnormal development.

Chromosome defects: Klinefelter’s syndrome — in which a male is born with two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome instead of one X and one Y. Other genetic syndromes associated with infertility include cystic fibrosis and Kallmann’s syndrome.

Issues during sexual intercourse: Trouble keeping or maintaining an erection, premature ejaculation, painful intercourse, anatomical abnormalities, or psychological or relationship problems that interfere with sex.

Environmental causes: Overexposure to heat, toxins and chemicals can reduce sperm production or sperm function. Specific causes are:

  • Industrial chemicals. 
  • Heavy metal exposure. 
  • Radiation or X-rays. 
  • Overheating the testicles. 
  • Sitting for long periods
  • Wearing tight clothing 
  • Working on a laptop computer for long stretches 

Your husband’s Lifestyle 

  • Drug use: Steroids taken to stimulate muscle strength can cause the testicles to shrink and reduce sperm production. The usage of hard-core drugs is also not suitable.
  • Alcohol use: Excess consumption of alcohol can cause erectile dysfunction and decrease sperm production. 
  • Tobacco smoking: Men who smoke suffer from lower sperm count.
  • Weight: Obesity or underweight can impair fertility in several ways due to hormone changes and reduced sperm production.

We at ZIVA Fertility Clinics encourage healthy discussions with both partners. If you are suspicious about your husband’s fertility, then please reach out to us for counselling, and we will certainly answer your questions.

For more information, please visit our website or contact us at +91-9100002737 or +91-9392834024.